Frozen Ever After. Seven Dwarf Mine Train. Soarin. All fantastic and magical new rides in Walt Disney World over the past few years, but my family has another favorite that has been overlooked by many. Under the Sea- Journey of the Little Mermaid is one new ride that we feel guests shouldn’t miss while visiting Magic Kingdom.
Found in Fantasyland at Disney’s Magic Kingdom, our love for this ride started when my husband and I visited on our 10 year anniversary in 2014. It continued this year as we were able to see the excitement and joy of this ride through our kids’ eyes.
Under the Sea- Journey of the Little Mermaid is considered a classic “dark-ride” but think Peter Pan, Winnie-the-Pooh, The Seas with Nemo and Friends. Guests sit in clamshells (like Haunted Mansion style) as they move through Ariel’s story as she searches to find her happily ever after.
Daughter outside with the ship
The magic of this ride begins before you even enter the queue and ride area. Outside, Prince Eric’s castle stands tall and majestic coming right off the movie screen and into the Magic Kingdom. Resting of the side of a cliff much like in the movie, this castle make a wonderful backdrop for fun family pictures. The ride’s entrance is marked with a shipwreck where Ariel is the figurehead. Take some time to look closely at this ship as the details are truly remarkable. Across from Prince Eric’s ship, the story continues with King Triton. The king himself is located across the entrance to the ride where he is overlooking his daughter. This is a great place to take pictures with the undersea king. You can also grab a snack here as well.
Magic Shots are fantastic
A quick note, if there are PhotoPass photographers around, ask for magic shots with your kids for some additional magic.
One of the great features in the queue area
After taking in these areas, you get to head into the outside queue area. We believe this is one of the best queues in the Magic Kingdom. Waterfalls, bridges, and shells keep your walk under the sea beautiful. The walk starts with being on a shoreline. Pieces of lost ships can be discovered throughout the waterfalls and tide pools. From here, guests go underground into the grottos. Ariel’s treasures can be discovered throughout from ship wheels to dishes and cups and even a few surprises.
Your adventure under the sea is about to being as you enter the loading area where your clamshell is awaiting your arrival.
Getting the story started
Disney truly transforms guests under the sea as you are taken slowly backwards in your clamshell as special effects make one feel like they are traveling under water. With unique temperature changes and water features, clamshells are taken to the ocean getting guests ready for a magical experience.
Ariel and Flounder Start the Ride
As everyone’s favorite seagull Scuttle welcomes everyone to the story, guests are quickly greeted by Ariel and Flounder as she is singing “Part of Your World” a favorite song from the movie as she looks through her treasures.
Under the Sea
The ride continues with one of the most colorful under the sea experience with Sebastian and friends singing another movie favorite “Under the Sea.” This is one of our favorite parts of the ride as the colors, music and animatronics bring a feeling a happiness that one can’t help but smile as they travel through this scene.
The Sea Witch
Things quickly darken however as guest are transported into Ursula’s home where the details make you feel like you are in the movie itself. As Ariel sings her voice away, you are slowly brought back above ground as you travel with her as she gains her human legs. Arriving in the lovely lagoon with Ariel and Prince Eric, Sebastian in one again singing a favorite from the movie “Kiss the Girl”.
Kiss the Girl
The ride does end happily ever after as Ursula is defeated, Ariel becomes human and they are married. The final scene of the ride puts all of this together in a unique and magical way allow guests to feel like they experienced the happy ended along with Eric and Ariel.
Happily Ever After
There aren’t any big drops. No fast turns. No major surprises. It really is the movie brought to life which is why we like it. We enjoy relaxing and being transferred into the movie with the sounds, sights and magic of Disney. Next time you are in Magic Kingdom we encourage you to stop by this under the sea adventure.
Do you enjoy Under the Sea – Journey of the Little Mermaid? Share your thoughts of the attraction in the comments.